The development of virtual libraries in Commonwealth libraries in Australia

  • Amanda Magnussen

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


This research examines the development of virtual libraries in Commonwealth
libraries in Australia in 1998-1999. The background to the study lies in some of
the current issues in the information sector, and government responses to those
The study begins by considering the nature of the Australian Commonwealth
Government, reviewing what government libraries are and whom they serve, and
examining the future trends expected to affect Commonwealth libraries. The
current state of virtual library research is then reviewed, and the need for research
in the Commonwealth library sector examined.
The author reviews the virtual library concept as expressed in the literature in the
field, determines what a virtual library is, and gives consideration to why virtual
libraries are being developed. The issues that affect and are affected by virtual
library development are then examined. Based on this, a model of virtual libraries
is formulated, along with a brief consideration of the possible application,
importance and problems associated with each element of the model.
The research design and methods that were used to gather information for this
study are then outlined, along with the inherent limitations of the research model.
Following this, the findings from a survey of virtual library development in
Commonwealth libraries are discussed. The author then conducts some analysis
of these responses, and makes comparisons between different Commonwealth
library responses, as well as comparisons with virtual library studies conducted in
American and Australian academic libraries.
The research concludes by attempting to reach some conclusions about
Commonwealth virtual library development and the validity of the proposed
model of virtual libraries. Flowing from this, recommendations are made for
further research in this field.
Date of Award2002
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorTrish Milne (Supervisor)

Cite this